A senior at a Naples, Florida, high school is upset over a picture that appeared in her school’s yearbook. Jessica Morales was shocked to see a large photo in the yearbook, taken during the school’s spirit week, that shows students dressed as stereotypical Mexicans, wearing ponchos, with long mustaches, holding maracas, and green cards. Another student has a sign pinned to the back of her shirt that says “Border Patrol.”
Morales was upset because she says the photo makes light of the immigration process, something that her parents are currently dealing with. Morales contacted her father, Miguel Morales, and showed him the picture. He too was shocked and surprised that the school would permit such a photo in the yearbook. He said, “It’s really racist, I can tell you that. I’ve never seen anything like that, I thought it was 2015 and people don’t act like that.”
When questioned about the photo, Collier County Schools released the following statement:
The picture in question is from Naples High School’s Spirit week. The Naples High yearbook staff has a vetting process for which all content is reviewed. If anyone on the yearbook team finds a picture questionable, the yearbook sponsor brings it forward to Principal Saba. That regrettably did not happen in this case.
Naples High principal Kevin Saba added, “We regret if any Golden Eagle student, parent, or community member found it offensive. It was not our intent.”
Kristen Perez, who says she got the photo from a friend who attends Naples High, shared in on Twitter. She told the Naples Herald, “I posted it because I found it highly inconsiderate, and offensive, and further ingraining bad stereotypical images of not only Mexicans or Hispanics, but any immigrants to this country.”
This is another prime example of how people often don’t consider whether someone else might find something offensive. It’s a really simple formula. If you want to know whether Hispanic people would find a photo of white students dressed up as Hispanic immigrants offensive, ask some Hispanic people. Put aside your white privilege for a minute, and try to see things through someone else’s eyes. You might be amazed to discover that the whole world doesn’t see things the same way you do.
Here’s a report on the photo controversy, from WFTX:
Featured image via Twitter